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Mandarin 'Cats' hits Beijing

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Cats, an award-winning musical by British composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, is captivating Beijing audiences with a Chinese version. After its premiere in Shanghai in August 2012, the musical toured cities including Guangzhou and Chongqing, and now celebrates its 100th show in Beijing.

Mandarin "Cats" hits Beijing. 

The world renowned musical was composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber and is based on the "Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats" by T. S. Eliot. It first opened in London's West End in 1981. It has since been performed around the world many times and translated into more than 20 languages.

The show tells the story of a tribe of cats called the Jellicles and the night they make "the Jellicle choice", which is when they decide which cat will ascend the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new life.

Lloyd Webber's eclecticism is very strong here; musical genres range from classical to pop, music hall, jazz, rock and electro-acoustic music as well as hymnal songs.

To cater to local tastes, some songs were performed in a Beijing dialect. In terms of stage design, the director has incorporated Beijing elements as well, such as bird cages and Peking duck.

The musical has attracted scores of viewers, among which are many stars.

Actor Han Tongsheng said, "The musical is intriguing. Both the dancing and singing were beyond what I imagined."

Actor Huang Bo said, "It's very impressive that we can translate such a renowned Broadway musical so well."

The mandarin "Cats" is being shown at the Century Theatre in Beijing until February 3rd, 2013.

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